Saturday, January 01, 2005

Oh my Dear God.

I'm crawling around on a Dial up and it is murder. I'll never be able to watch another internet trailer again. Just getting Blogger to load up was a chore. I'm completely aware that I'm giving up a great broadband connection, but I just have to remember that KIDS=NO TIME=WASTE OF MONEY FOR BROADBAND.

But man, I'm already suffering from withdrawl and I haven't even canceled Broadband yet (They're closed for the holidays. Wusses.)


Happy New Year!

I'm not really the type to care much about the New Year - to me Chinese New Year had more gravity to it because there were actually customs and traditions to go along with it. The Western New Year was just time to make new resolutions that we could've done any other time of the year, and time to get a new calendar. I never partied into the New Year, so it wasn't even like an excuse for a drinking binge.

However, it has somewhat become a little tradition to see Brendon and Maralise. Last year we were over at their place when Alex was still little, and Brendon's brother was in town as well. The year before that, I don't remember what we did, but I think Brendon and Maralise were involved. And this year was no exception, except it's been the biggest crowd ever. At one point, there was us five, and Jill and the grandkids showed up, and then B and M and M's mom showed up too. And let's not forget little Adrian, who's due in like four days, hanging out in M's tummy. So, that's 12 people in the house at one time. Them a lot of peeps, yo.

So, baby updates. Zoe's more on a schedule, if you consider sleeping through the night and mostly through the day a schedule. She's also got more control, grasping at toys and smiling a ton. She can also dance up a storm, but usually we're manipulating her like a shameless flesh puppet, so I don't know if that really counts. Her hair is also growing and balding sparadically, like some odd vegation that's got too much sun and not enough water at the same time. But she does have the sweetest little smile, like the kind that takes the whole face to express. She's definitely working her way past the screaming infant stage into the "I'm cute, love me" stage. That's a good stage.

Alex is currently watching DVDs of himself, and being tremendously pleased. So begins his fate as a self-obessed entertainer. I suppose the good thing about that is that his teacher is one of the best, thank you very much. He's also started (quite a while ago, but I didn't post about it) taking bites, as supposed to deep-throating food. His choke ratio to digestion ratio has improved, and even his need for milk is weening. Now he wants Daddy's Diet Coke. Mommy hates it when I let him sip my Diet Coke, but after a few sips, I hate it too because the little boy backwashes like crazy. You'd think he ate dirt.

And finally, I've found a use for my chin stubble. My uncle used to do it to me, so I've been on the receiving end of it, and I know that the long-term damaged is easily remedied with long-term video-game playing. So that's why I play a lot.

Anyway, Alex like it when I take his foot, and rub the bottom of his sole on my stubble. He giggles up a storm, and then dangles his feet in front of me again. I play this game with him every few days because whenever I shave, it does take a while for it to stubble. It's the Asian Guy curse. I suppose it's not a bad curse to have, to be hairless. Except I get cold often. So, there you have it, my New Years Resolution. Be grow facial hair. I'll have photographic proof in about, oh, a year.

Update, Upgrade, Downgrade

Sorry about the lack of update, but since it's the holidays, there really wasn't much that I could do about not writing for like a week. I honestly feel lousy about it because I know when I log on, I like to see new content, damnit! But I also spent quite a bit of time just watching the news about the tsunami, and realizing that life is fleeting. And a lot of material things don't matter when it comes down to it, people do. On that note...

I tend to do this every year, whereby I'm just looking for change in any way I can. In my case, it's readjusting my wants and needs for no real logical reason, but it just feels better anyhow. I think from this post, anyone can guess that I'm pretty nerdy.


Well, it hasn't happened yet, but I'm planning to switch over from Comcast Cable, the monopoly bastards, over to Dish Network. I was initially looking for cheaper alternatives to the cable giant, because honestly, with this many people using cable, it still shouldn't cost 50 bucks a month for TV. It's downright ridiculous. So, I was researching alternatives and the Dish seemed pretty cool. For the same price every month, you get 120 channels including Sirius Satellite radio, and the option to use a DVR, which is like a digital recorder. Next chance I get, I'll be upgrading to that for sure.

Also, after missing an entire year of movies, I've decided to look into, which allows me to have 3 movies mailed to me at a time, and watch new releases without going to the store. Now this "Not Going to the Store" thing is a huge deal, being how taking two babies anyway has become such a major production. The cost is fairly reasonable, and there are some Hong Kong movies buried in their library, you just have to look for them. And no adult rentals... Nazis.

After avoiding the PC platform for so long, I finally bought a firewire port for the PC downstairs because my iMac wasn't cutting it. What that means now is that I can now encode DVDs in about 6 hours, instead of four whole days on my iMac. It's really not my iMacs's fault; it's older and slower. So I'm just making DVDs of the babies one after another, before I get completely buried in the hours and hours of baby footage. It's also easier to sift through the footage when it's on the DVD format. One can only watch that many clips of babies staring into space while drooling for that long.


Another reason why I'm veering away from the cable giant, my cable internet bills have top 50 bucks. Yes, that's one hundred dollars that we pay to this company for entertainment. I've been making excuses and avoiding this for some time, but I've decided to rid of the high-speed goodness and get back to basics with Dial-Up. The collective groan of sympathy is heartfelt, but it's no longer wise for us to have it anyway. Most times I don't even get a chance to go on the computer anyway, so it's probably for the better. Some of the video clips might not work right now for that reason.

This isn't so much a downgrade, but the result of one - the dumb PC downstairs apparently doesn't come with a modem (it didn't come with an ethernet port either) so I either have to buy one, or network it to my Mac upstairs. Which is dumb. Networking a dial-up connection is just silly. It's like trying to relieve the parched with a straw filled with water. So, downgrade.

Dunno Grade

Sure, there's going to be couples out there who will read this and say, "What? They don't have a joint account yet? What in Hade's backyard is wrong with them? They're in America now, they can't do that!" Well, the only reason really that we haven't ventured into a singular account is mostly because it's been working just fine. We split the bills, and we help each other out. At this point of our marriage though, we're not spending any money toward personal gain anyway, so it's pretty much community money. It's not like I could be sitting on any money without helping her or vice versa - this family would just not survive. What that means though, is that I'll be the accountant of the family. Yuck. I'll be sitting in receipts.

Okay, that's the Update em... Update.

Now for a baby post.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Tsunami in Asia.

Although I personally don't know anyone who's affected by the Tsunami in Asia, it's still really difficult to wrap my head around the number of people killed by it. When I was last reading about it, it was in the 15,000 range, and it continues to rise. And with indifferent impunity, it has killed different races, tourists, and scores of children in such a swift and unforseen manner that there's no comprehension how horrible this all is. Reading about the accounts of people just enjoying the beach or hanging out in their hotel rooms or lobby and then the next moment, nothing. People being swept to sea, drowned, unaccounted for. Again, I don't think there's anyone I know who's affected by this, but it is still such a staggering tragedy that I can't get over.

I'm not a praying man, but I do hope that the numbers are overestimations. I don't really know what else there is to do.

Zoe's First Christmas

We did it a little different this year, choosing to go down to Puyallup and Seattle instead to celebrate Christmas. We usually do it in Bellingham, and then head down to my Mom's on Christmas Day, but this year we went to my In Law because... I don't really know why, actually. Because we wanted to test our reserves with two babies in the back seat?

The drive down wasn't particular hideous, but it did take about an hour longer than planned. We thought we'd be all smart by staying awake, drinking coffee to perk us up. But all that did was make us take a bathroom stop in Marysville, whereby we pretended not to have breakfast at a McDonalds. We got to my mother-in-laws place, or SurrealLand as I sometimes like to call it, and everyone was already there. Alex didn't take long to be comfortable running around, and I exercised my bastardness by turning off two radios in the house because I was just going nuts. There were at least three radios running Christmas music, but the TV had cartoons on at the same time. And people were talking about all of it. So I just killed the radio in two of the rooms, acting like I owned the place or something.

The visit was pretty good, with the exception of the Bird from Hell, cleverly disguised as a Cockateel or Cocka-whatever named Clancy. Clancy is a smart bird who is able to mimic a lot of phrases and words. However, all the linguistic skills could not redeem the bird from being the World's Most Annoying Ass Bird. Yes, it does mimic a phone ringing, but it does so at a ear-shattering decible that could turn a man impotent. I think everyone just despises that winged ass-rat, but I think that I probably take it the furthest. I told my wife and my sister-in-law that the bird could never mimic the sound of a gunshot because it'd be the last thing it hears. I actually really loathe that bird in the most unreasonable way.

And with good reason too. He's drawn blood on a few people, including my other sister-in-law's husband, who got an involuntary ear-piercing when the bird damned near Mike-Tysoned his ear off. It's also gripped my wife's arm with its claws until it drew blood. So, my feelings about the bird are mostly rooted in seething hatred.

Anyway, the bird ranting leads up to this. My wife was picking up a present when the bird suddenly leapt from it's perch and tried to mount the back of my wife's head, or whatever it was trying to do. My wife freaked, and ran into the next room. Later, while I was passing by, the bird lunged for me as well, but since I was already on Flying Bastard alert, I managed to run away while the bird got tangled up in the Christmas tree. And believe me, both incidents were as funny as they sound because we laughed both times.

But anyway, the kids got some toys, we got some stuff (I got a maglite from my mother in law, so that's cool), and everyone seemed at the top of their spirits. We left at around 8 and headed to my mom's.

Then it went downhill.

The downside to our strict routines is that the kids can't handle any change to their schedule. So whenever we go anywhere and spend the night, it becomes this huge, tramatic thing for Alex. We tried to put him to sleep and he sobbed and wept. It took about 5 tries before my wife took him to bed with her, while I was downstairs trying to get Zoe to sleep. The little girl seriously did not go to sleep until almost 2 in the morning. She was just unhappy and unwilling to chill out. That was such a tough night that we swore off spending the night anywhere until they're 10. or 9 and a half.

Christmas Day at my Mom's was quiet, Alex had fun running around the house and being a crazy little boy. He smiled and charmed Grandma, and Zoe even had some great little grins too. There wasn't as many gifts this year, which is probably a good thing since we're rapidly running out of room. I actually like to bring my kids to see my mom, because I can just tell that it makes her so happy. It just means so much to her that I only wish we could see her more often. She really enjoys being a grandma. Yes, more than all the other grandmas in the world, I bet.

Today, and probably for a few weeks here, we'll settle back into some kind of normal routine. Too much going on, glad that Christmas is over and done with.